Trump Africa pol­icy in fo­cus at AGOA trade talks

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS -

With the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s trade agenda fo­cused on rein­ing in China and rene­go­ti­at­ing the North Amer­i­can Free Trade agree­ment, Africa has barely ap­peared on the radar screen.

That could change this week as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s top trade ne­go­tia­tor and other se­nior U.S. of­fi­cials head to the West African na­tion of Togo to re­view a Clin­ton-era free trade pact with sub­Sa­ha­ran Africa, in the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s first high-level del­e­ga­tion to visit the re­gion.

Loom­ing over the two­day min­is­te­rial is China’s grow­ing role in African trade and in­flu­ence, as Bei­jing fi­nances mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture projects in the re­gion, some through its new Asian In­fra­struc­ture and In­vest­ment Bank.

While U.S. ex­ports to sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa as a whole have dou­bled to $21.81 bil­lion from $10.96 bil­lion in 2000, ac­cord­ing to U.S. Com­merce Depart­ment data, they were dwarfed by China’s $102 bil­lion in ex­ports to the re­gion in 2015.

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